Is Love Is About Appreciation?
After all the fluff is gone (and yes, it happens unknowingly), you wake up one day and find that the other person who was once your lover has become a companion. You ask him to pick up the laundry. He asks you to get milk. What you pictured as a sexy weekend together has now become a nesting session where you spend the whole day in bed, actually sleeping. You've finally discovered what love is; love is about appreciation and not possession.
There is a nostalgic side to companionship, the idea that you’ll have someone to witness the everyday happenings of your life when the novelty wears off, and the roots in your hair start showing, and the bunions build up on your feet.
The Appreciation In Love
However, there is also a more functional side to companionship, one that dilutes the individuality of the other in order to melt into this singular unit. You don’t know when it happened but friends and relatives now start referring to you two as “the couple.” And when they spot you at a local restaurant with lady friends instead of him, they immediately assume that something’s wrong, for it seems unthinkable that you two have a life separate from each other.
Pretty soon, you might start thinking this too. You’ll feel hurt when he binge-watches episodes of 'Mr. Robot' without you. You’ll be surprised when he’s out on a Saturday night with his work friends instead of you (Doesn’t he spend the whole week with them already?) You’re the only one allowed to pick off his plate, get his inside jokes, and pick his outfits.
Duped by Society
Society tells you to hold on, to be your partner’s keeper. It seems unthinkable that you do not know where he is at this time of day. It’s tiring to keep tabs on him as one of your objects, is not it? It’s easier to give in to the pressure of what a couple and companionship should be... but do not. Do not give in to societal demand. Rilke mentions of love as being “two solitudes meeting, greeting, and respecting each other”. Love is about appreciation, not possession.
To sustain a relationship, individuality becomes important, because it’s what you keep on bringing to the table that gives it that continuous novelty. We have heard of cautionary tales before of relationships going “stale.” A relationship needs you, and it needs two. And it needs those two to be individual selves.
True Freedom In Appreciation
So, the next time you run into a mutual friend at the grocery store, and she asks “Where is he?”, feel the freedom in your answer when you shrug, “I don't know.”